El Salto, Nuevo Leon

September 1st, 2011

El Salto, in Nuevo León, is a waterfall in the Sierra Madre Oriental that cut through a hairpin bend in a canyon wall. It is a favorite Sunday haunt of Neoleonenses. In those few months of the year when it has water, you will find the pool at its base filled with ATVs, Jeeps, Land Rovers, homemade dune buggies and the like, loud blaring Mexican music, beer, and people laughing.

I am not a party to this kind of celebration of nature, so loud and disrespectful of its majesty, but I recognize that it is part of the charm of Mexico. Luckily, the loudest and drunkest are content to stay at the waterfall, and leave the hiking to others. The canyon is a favorite for rock climbers, with sheer and overhung limestone cliffs rising thousands of feet at either side of the river. Hikers can traverse the canyon, a two day walk to Monterrey, through majestic, unspoiled scenery.

The water is not as diaphanous as in other canyons in Nuevo Leon, but still preserves the odd milky green that belies its high mineral content. Maybe it wasn’t as transparent as usual this time because it has been raining every 2 days or so lately. Still, the green-tinted water makes for beautiful pictures.

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